There are a number of search and query capabilities in the Geoscience Atlas, under the Tools drop down menu and using the Search icon on the main menu bar. These search and query tools provide the user with the ability to search for locations, specific tabular information, features within polygon, or features within a measured distance from another feature. Note that Base Maps are static layers and cannot be queried.



Spatial Search

The Spatial Search tool is available from the Tools menu and also from the Search Results window (top left corner).

Select which feature to query from the dropdown list. A spatial search can be performed on a feature overlapping either a Graphic selection or Current Results.

Overlap Graphic -This type of search is based on graphics that have been drawn on the map display using the Draw tool. Previously created graphics are listed in the drop down list and can be selected for use. Any features that overlap this selected feature will be highlighted on the map, while the records will be returned in the Search Results window. Click the Add Graphic icon, the plus sign to the right of the dropdown list, to create a new graphic.

Overlap Current Results -This option bases a new search on any features overlapping a current selection (i.e., features listed in the Search Results window). Once features have been returned in the results window, another feature can be selected from the drop down list . Any features that overlap the current selection will be highlighted and their results will populate the Search Results window.

Once the type of selection has been established, a buffer distance around the selection can be input, as well as a unit of measurement. Click the Search button to run the query.

Attribute Query

The Attribute Query tool is available from the Tools menu.  This tool provides access to search the attribute data (i.e., the data in the table associated with the features) from the layer of interest.

Select which layer to query from the drop down list; the order matches the order in the Contents.
Select the attribute (field) of interest.
Select an operator (e.g., Equal To. Note that the 'Like' operator is for text string comparisons, which are case sensitive; the '%' wildcard is added automatically).
Click on 'Get Sample Values' to get a drop down list of the unique values and select one of the values OR
Click on the round button next to the empty box and type a value. Note that text string comparisons are case sensitive.
If necessary, Clear the query expression box, then click on 'Add to Query Expression'. Use the brackets, AND, OR or NOT buttons to make more complex queries. These cannot be edited in the query window.
Click the Run Query button at the bottom of this window.
The tabular results will be listed in a Search Results pop-up window where the features can be zoomed to, any links to Geofiles etc. can be viewed or the data can be downloaded. The queried features will be highlighted in cyan in the map viewer.  When the Search Results window is closed, the highlighted features will return to their original colours.

Custom Queries

Click the Custom Queries tool, in the Tools drop down menu, to search for data using one of 17 pre-prepared forms for a layer of interest (see list below).
Select which layer to query from the Custom Query drop down list.
For quick location searches most custom query forms include the NTS 1:250,000 (NTS 250) and the NTS 1:50,000 (NTS 50) map sheet drop down lists; for the 1:50,000 sheet pick the 1:250,000 sheet location first.
Fill in one or more fields in the form. Note that text is NOT case sensitive, so names can be lower case.
Click the Run Custom Query button.
The tabular results will be listed in a Search Results pop-up window where the features can be zoomed to, any links to Geofiles etc. can be viewed or the data can be downloaded.
The seventeen Custom Query forms are for the following layers:

  • Mineral Occurences
  • Drill Core
  • Index - Bedrock Geology Maps
  • Index - Geochemical Surveys
  • Index - Airborne Geophysical Surveys
  • Map Staked Claims
  • Historical Claims
  • Lands Coming Open
  • Notices Gazetted
  • Mineral Tenure
  • Quarries - New Applications
  • Quarries - Subordinate Permits
  • Quarries - Permits
  • Quarries - Leases
  • Quarries - Permit Expired Last Year
  • Quarries - Archive
  • Stratigraphic Units: The search is based on the fields D_Group, D_Formatn, and/or D_Rocktype in the detailed Bedrock Geology polygon layer.


The Search tool (magnifying glass on main menu bar) can be used to find any item from all the layers in a group or an item from an individual map layer:
1. Use the drop down list to select the Location, group or layer you want to search.
2. Enter the search text, press enter or click the magnifying glass icon to initiate the search. Searching for locations is based on place names (e.g. cities, towns) and is not case sensitive. Some place names may require province and country to be added in the search text box (e.g., 50 elizabeth ave., st. john's, nl, canada).
3. For a search on layers, a search results window will display with one or more items listed. Click on the ‘Zoom’ option, to the left of the record, to zoom in to the result.
4. A 'Location' search result will zoom in to the area of interest and place a red dot if the location is found in the Google database. Clicking on the red dot provides links to Google's Streat View, Bing's Bird's Eye view, open the Spatial Search tool, delete the red dot and close these menu items.

Identify and View Feature Information

Information for any item/feature on the map may be obtained by simply clicking on it. This is similar to the 'Identify' tool in other Atlases.  A Search Results window will open with the information for ALL feature(s) at the cursor location.  If  more than one layer of information from more than one Group is at the cursor location then, in the Search Results window, select the Group from Map Service drop-down list and the Layer from Results list to view that layers tabular information.  Note that Base Maps are static layers and cannot be queried.


Questions, comments or suggestions can be directed to:

Geoscience Online

Geoscience Data Management
Geological Survey
Department of Natural Resources
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

(updated September  2015)